Thursday, 31st January 2008
Tim Buckley Owen
January is past and gone, and it’s getting a bit late for spotting the New Year’s trends and making resolutions to suit. But for information professionals who are still agonizing over how to remain corporately relevant, here are five late hints and tips.
News: It’s crunch time over whether to continue paying for news from ‘premium’ sources. The FT is now licensing everybody, including third party providers, and the Wall Street Journal seems to be backtracking from its initial hint that everything would be free – see VIPs 47 and 50 http://www.vivavip.com/vip/ for the details. Are these brands so important that you can’t afford to ignore them without losing credibility?
Aggregation: While news suffered a 2.5% decline in revenue in a largely flat information market – according to Outsell’s preliminary information industry analysis for 2007 http://www.outsellinc.com/press/press_releases/2007_preliminary_market_size – search, aggregation and syndication saw 25.5% growth, with the obvious leaders, Google and Yahoo, joined at the top by some very familiar names – Reed Elsevier, Pearson and Thomson. If you’re strapped for cash, is your dependence on these few top names preventing you from buying from newer niche players - filling gaps in emerging market information, for example?
Business intelligence: Gartner noted recently that BI remained ‘mission critical’ for businesses http://web.vivavip.com/forum/LiveWire/read.php?i=3721 and its new worldwide survey of chief information officers (IT heads to you and me) shows them putting business intelligence at the top of their top ten technology priorities. Meanwhile barely a quarter of those same CIOs http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=587808 believe they have the right number of skilled people to meet business needs. Are your staff among those skilled people, and does your CIO know it?
Social networking: Hardly surprising that the same Gartner survey found CIOs reporting web 2.0 and social networking to be on the increase. Now Computerworld reports http://digbig.com/4whgx that business intelligence company Hoover (part of Dun & Bradstreet) has acquired corporate social networking company Social Path, the brains behind Hoover’s Connect http://digbig.com/4whhd. Connect allows Hoover users to build their professional networks by using an algorithm that evaluates and rates the strength of the connections disclosed through their Outlook e-mail and calendar programs. Are you drawing your CIO’s attention to the useful applications that information companies will increasingly deploy to retain customers?
Blogging: Alacra recently announced a new scheme http://web.vivavip.com/forum/LiveWire/read.php?i=4110 enabling bloggers to generate revenue by pointing their readers to reports in the Alacra Store. Now the Wall Street Journal (this is where we came in) reviews a whole range of ways of making money off blogs http://digbig.com/4whhg. Could your organization exploit blogs better if it were able to offset some of the cost of creating them in revenue generated at the margin?
Happy (belated) New Year!
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